Self-editing is overrated. Or is it?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Technology is: a. awesome, b. sucky, c. easily manipulated by cats, d. all of the above

I just got my Christmas present today finally. I'm VERY excited!

Normally, I don't have a lot of requests for presents. People ask me what I want and I say "Hey, whatever's cool with me." This year, however, I knew what I wanted before it was even out. (No, it's not one of those damned X-Box 360's!)

Now, I bet you would think that because I spend so much of my time dealing with technology in my job, that I therefore would be a real gadget-oriented person. But I'm not. Well, kinda I'm not. I don't have an Ipod. I don't have a PDA. No videogames. I have a computer but it runs on Mac OS9. (Fine, I'll wait for you to stop laughing......thank you.) Most people say to me "Hey, you must have an awesome home theatre system.", but I don't. I don't even have a stereo. Just a boombox.

Many years ago, I used to have a datebook, but I lost it and all of the information that was it. It was heartbreaking. Soon after, I bought a PDA but I lost it the first day I had it. From that point on, I vowed to memorize everything in my life, and, believe it or not, I have. You can ask me where I'm gonna be from now til July, and I can tell you every single day off the top of my head. It's crazy, but effective.

But I can't lie. I do have gadget envy. I don't buy that many of them, but I read about them all. And there was one that stood out the most.....

Check it out!! It's a Garmin Nuvi GPS. Oh my god, it's so freakin cool!


OK, now I know what you're saying. This? This is the gadget that you wanted so badly? In a word, hell yes. You see, because I travel all the time and I'm constantly driving a rental car in an unfamiliar city, I am CONSTANTLY getting lost. Not just lost, but hopelessly hopelessly lost. Then I have to call people, such as my good (and unbelievably patient) friend Toy, or my long-suffering (and also unbelievably patient) wife, and beg them to help me get me out of trouble while enduring my cursing on the other end of the phone.

It wasn't til I got lost on two different occasions in one month in the Bronx at 2 o'clock in the morning, when I swore to myself, once and for all, I was going to get a GPS.

And now I have one! Now, I will not get lost anymore. How do I know? OK, this thing is so great that when I pick it up and start walking around my house, it can tell me which direction I'm going and how fast I'm travelling. I'm not kidding, I spent like three hours today running around my house screaming at the top of my lungs "I'M TRAVELING NORTHWEST AT 2.3 MILES PER HOUR!!!"

It was fantastic.

Of course, technology is not always so great. Take, for example, this story that appeared in the Guardian newspaper that reported that in Ohio, a state government auto-dialer mistakenly called about 3000 crime victims with a message that the inmates involved in their crimes had been freed.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction believes the problem stemmed from a computer glitch that happened during maintenance. The agency was double-checking to ensure that no inmates were accidentally released, spokesman Brian Niceswanger said. Niceswanger went on to say that when he finds his next job, he will make up a better last name for himself next time. (Oh, all right fine, I made that last part up.)

But now, if you're looking for irony, juxtapose that last story (in which man can't control the phone) with this story from the Associated Press in which a disabled man fell and was unable to get up (dont....even....say it...), and claims that his cat called 911. Police were skeptical to say the least, but they did find the cat sitting next to the phone, and the man was flat on his back when they arrived at the house. Cats, however, were outraged by this news, and immediately dispatched their spokesman from Cat Union Local 9 to a press conference, where they angrily denied this story:

"We are very upset by this recent report of a cat who supposedly demonstrated skills that were clearly not supposed to be known by the human public. We have taken this member back to headquarters for a debriefing, and we would like to remind humans everywhere that this, in no way, should be taken as a skill that all cats possess, or infer any other skills that we might possess, for that matter, other than our typical regimen of lying around, eating, licking ourselves, and occasionally cuddling with the humans."

"I would like to reiterate that we cats have absolutely no idea how to use the phone, nor do we know how to drive, dance, play cards or pay attention when you would like us to. We are just cats, and we demand that we be treated exactly as we have been up to this point - i.e. every whim of ours is catered to and we bear no responsibilty whatsoever. Thank you, there will be no questions."

And with that, they got in their Hummer limo and were chauffeured away. Nothing to see here, I guess...

Although, if they get lost, they can always call me!!


Post a Comment

<< Home